by Rachel Kranson

Families Can Change, Too

In many ways, The Outside World by Tova Mirvis (Knopf, $24) reads as a classic coming-of-age story—but with an important twist. Usually the adolescent protagonist discovers, completely on his or her own, that the world is more complicated than it had seemed in childhood. (Think Holden Caulfield, or Huck Finn.) However, as Mirvis’ novel reminds us, this painful journey from youth to maturity is seldom traveled alone. Mirvis’ main characters, both raised in Orthodox Jewish communities, grow into adulthood in their close—and very different—families. The choices they make affect all of the people who care about them most intimately

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